Local runner from Soweto makes history by being the first athlete that runs using crutches and aspires to create awareness for people living with disabilities.

Ipeleng Psymon “The Crutch Runner” Khunou is a South African making history as the first runner on crutches. Born at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in 1986, in Soweto, Khunou was born with a rare brain deformity called Septo-Optic Dysplasia, meaning he was born without balance and affected eyesight. Being the last born of his family, Khunou remembers the early memories living in Rustenburg with his mom, Violet and brother, Joy. Khunou spent most of his years in boarding school until he matriculated at Meerhoof School. He went on to study a Diploma in Marketing, but due to a lack of funds, he never finished his qualification and stayed at home. It was then that he started freelancing and working for a couple of Non-Profit Organizations.

A few years ago, Khunou realised he weighed 120 kg’s, although he had two gym memberships he hardly used. Being overweight and called derogatory terms, one day he woke up and decided to go jogging at 4: am to avoid being seen by people on the road. Since that day he hasn’t looked back.

Khunou “crazy legs “as his affectionately known by his peers aspires to be a humanitarian and a philanthropist through running; as his currently the only runner on crutches. He wants to use his profile to further raise disability awareness and hopes to encourage abled people as well.

Khunou’s current highlights

  • 2006: Raising funds for Casual day
  • 2000 : Bronze medal at the National championships for people living with disability
  • 2004 : 4th place – Ran without crutches in a new classification (previous year it was the wheelchair athlete) against world record hold Tebogo Mogalagadi the 100m, 200m respectively
  • 2017 : Hartbeespoort, Om die Dam 10km (1:47)
  • 2017 : Zwartkops, Wally Hayward 21km (3:40)
  • 2017: Durban, Youth Run 10km (1:39)
  • 2017: Zwartkops, Spar ladies 10km (1:28) (Ipeleng is male as insinuated by the writer. Therefore, why a “ladies”race?
  • 2017: Soweto Marathon 21km (3:19)
  • 2018 : Klerksdorp marathon 10km (1:32)
  • 2018 : Cape Town, Two Oceans Marathon 21km (3:15)- Fundraising for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund
  • 2018 : Ocal Global Journey for Change, charity run to raise disability awareness for children living with disabilities in the Northern Cape -2018 : FNB Cape Town One Run My City series 12km (1:36) – Fundraising for Children living with disabilities in the Northern Cape
  • 2018 : London, Virgin Sports British 10km (1:20) “best person”- Fundraising for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, United Kingdom (UK), as part of the Centenary Year of Nelson Mandela.

Leave a Reply